Princeton Student (Class of 2007) Willing to Discuss Campus Life

<p>I am a junior at princeton....I browsed this site off and on when I was in high school, found it interesting / informative. I especially liked hearing from current students about their experiences at particular schools. Thus, I will be checking this site over the next few days for questions from prospective applicants / ED admits, etc. and am happy to discuss whatever (campus life / academics / social climate, etc)</p>

<p>Do you/many of your friends have cars? Do you take the Dinky often? Do you go to Quakerbridge? <em>GASP</em> Is PJ's hackneyed or what? Did you like the cicadas falling out of trees? Did you touch one? Eat one? Did you happen to see an Indian boy, an Indian girl, and a Caucasian boy running around playing tag near Whig Hall last June? Are you a member of the Whig-Cliosophic Society? Are you involved with the Moot Court Tournament? Did you vote for Tom Brown?</p>

<p>How rigorous is the workload? How difficult is it to get an A? How is the social life there? Is there a good balance of 'work and play'?</p>

<p>I do have a car--------anyone other than freshman is allowed a car and it's pretty cheap (150/year to keep it on campus)</p>

<p>The Dinky is very convenient, I probably end up using it about once or twice a month, and I always see people I know on makes the commute to NYC painless.</p>

<p>Quakerbridge, once in a while........PJ's is sweet, love the pancakes, hate the line........cicadas are loud as hell......did not see those kids playing tag-------not in Whig/Clio though I've been there for plenty of events and stolen quite a bit of the food that is catered to there, which is delicious, no Moot Court, and sorry, didn't vote for Tom Brown.</p>

<p>Interesting questions......I feel like ya go to Princeton, amigo</p>

<p>Regarding the workload, it is as difficult as the courses you take. Freshman year engineers have it very rough with the math/physics/computers/chemistry/writing requirements, whereas pre-meds have it tough with Orgo, and others just have it tough depending on what they elect to take...undoubtedly you will run into tough courses at some point, classes are certainly not a joke.</p>

<p>Additionally, while grading is not impossible, their has been a new "anti-grade inflation policy" implemented as of 2004. This policy limits the number of A's (A+'s / A's / A-'s) to a maximum of 35% per course. Sometimes this number is flexible, depending on professor, but most adhere to it (or less) While this number seems like a lot, it really isn't given the average caliber of the student in a given course.</p>

<p>Thus, all courses end up being graded on some form of a curve, so even "easy" courses material wise can end up being tough grade wise. Usually though, the average grade given is a B or a B+.</p>

<p>There is a lot of controversy about this policy on campus among both students and faculty, but it is there to stay. </p>

<p>On a more positive note, students at Princeton do not seem to worry about their grades as much as I would have expected. Sure, you have your studyaholics, etc, but there is a wonderful balance to social life and work.</p>

<p>Princeton kids value their social life highly and, in spite of the campus being in suburban NJ, there are parties every night if that's your thing, and there's always something going on non-party-wise as well. Thursday / Saturday nights are the traditional party nights, and on those nights almost all the eating clubs are open, and there is a general festive atmosphere on campus.</p>

<p>Haha I live in an adjacent town. I used to work at the Kumon there, too. :P</p>

<p>And (surprise surprise) I even ran around the quad playing tag with an Indian girl and Caucasian guy once.</p>

<p>What's your major? What electives are you taking?</p>

<p>My major is Operations Research + Financial Engineering - it is in the Engineering School and basically blends finance with statistics, mathematics, and computers. I've taken most of my electives in history, psychology, and economics. There are a ton of cool classes, and lots of flexibility in all majors, even within the engineering school. In fact, I'm a bit ahead in my major's requirements, so this coming semester, I'm taking mostly electives.</p>

<p>I'm a freshman at pton and am also happy to answer questions, although it generally looks like dexterkeidis has it under control. Just finishing up HUM 216/217, a writing seminar, and a dance class, so happy to take questions about frosh year workloads etc, and I'm super involved in the dance scene on campus, if there are any other dancers out there!</p>

<p>How was the HUM sequence? What do you think about it in hindsight?</p>

<p>I have a question about operations research actually, my dad had this 20 years ago, how does it work at Pton? How has new technology changed the field?</p>

<p>This question is directed toward either current Princeton student (jssballet and Dexterkeidis).</p>

<p>Which residential college do/did you reside in? Could you describe it's living conditions and overall vibe?</p>

<p>Operations research has probably changed the most in the last twenty years in that now it's being applied to the financial world (hence, financial engineering)...basically, in addition to being the field that optimizes transportation, supply, and industrial efficiency, operations research and financial engineering is now used by hedge funds and other investment funds to price securities, allocate assets, and essentially monitor the world of options and derivatives.</p>

<p>At princeton, they teach us a lot of skills---optimization techniques, computer techniques, financial applications, and in general, allow us to develop a strong sense in the areas of probability, statistics, and modeling. Some students choose to focus on the computer aspect of this heavily, coding, modeling, etc, while others go a more finance track. indeed, mostof the students in this major wind up in finance, technology, or management consulting................there is actually some complaining at princeton by a small few that the major is too professional oriented and outside of the princeton realm of liberal arts...but then again it is in the engineering school</p>

<p>I lived in Butler...(aka the But)...which is by far the ugliest and most dismal housing on the Princeotn campus. Freshman year, I had a crappy one room double with brick walls and "waffle-like ceilings" - Gross. however, the room wasn't extremely small, and 90% of butler rooms are like that, everyone's in the same boat. The Butler community is amazing. Everyone takes pride in their shoddy condition. People rock, "I like it in the But" t-shirts, and there is a great community sense not seen in all the colleges. The dining hall is bright and wide open. </p>

<p>I really enjoyed my two years in Butler (and my room as a sophomore was one of the lucky 10% that was nice). So don't be worried if youa re in Butler.</p>

<p>Also, Butler is being completely destroyed and replaced in 2008 or 2009, so that's something to look forward to...</p>

<p>HUM sequence was/is (I'm continuing w/ 218/219 next semester) amazing. It's intense, but totally worth it. Unfortunately two of the best profs in it (it's team taught by 5 profs who alternate lecturing and precepting, so I haven't had a grad student precepter thus far) are retiring/taking time off after this semester, so I don't know what it'll be like next year. The reading's incredible of course and it's a fair amount of work, but I really haven't had too hard of a time managing it, and while it takes up a TON of time and blocks you out of a lot of courses, I've really loved (almost) every minute.</p>

<p>I'm in Mathey (pronounced "Matty" for any newcomers) which is gorgeous. Personally, my room's huge, with a fireplace and bay window overlooking Blair Arch, very "A Beautiful Mind"-esque. I'm friends w/ a lot of Mathey people, and although my closest friends are in butler, forbes, and wilson, a large group of Mathey-ites always eat dinner together, which really gives it a homey feel. It's hard to give a "vibe" for Mathey, kinda eclectic, a lot of people in the Greek system (like, disproportionately so, I think), a lot of fun though. And I really like living up-campus, even if it is kinda far from Frist and all. Hope all this rambling helped some!</p>

<p>What's the reading periods like? Do you really need this many reading period days to memorize all the material or is there something else I am missing?</p>

<p>I heard that Princeton kids will have to do an independent project and a senior thesis. Because I find this as a negative aspect of Pton, I am a little hesitant to apply. How will you know what to do? How to start?</p>

<p>Thanks a bunch guys for your feedback! Yes, your rants actually did help, lol. I was actually looking at the student guide to princeton earlier and they did make mention of some of the things you guys said.</p>

<p>dexterkeidis, you're a junior. Are you a member of one of the eating clubs? If so, could you tell us what the process is for getting into one of these clubs? And maybe give us a little description.</p>

<p>Thanks so much!</p>

<p>Reading period is perhaps the reason why I am okay with the weird Princeton calendar, which forces us to have 1st Semester finals after winter break. It's 10 days long, at the end of which all papers are due, and the day after finals begin. Depending on your courseload and exam schedule, you might need all the time to study, but generally it is a period filled with paper-writing, review sessions, and partying. No joke, some of the most fun days of the year are during reading period. People adopt a "study during the day, go out at night" mentality and it really is fun. The last Tuesday, especially, known as Dean's Date, when papers are due is arguably the most fun night of the semester. This year, in a few weeks, on Dean's Date, Vanilla Ice is coming to perform at one of the eating clubs, and last year Rahzel (the beat box rapper) came. all of the clubs have bands, the USG sponsors free-food events. Once you're done with your work, Dean's Date's awesome...though, an unfortunate few like me have a final the next day.</p>

<p>This is true---all Princeton seniors do a thesis and most majors require junior independent work (mine does not). From what I gather, these are stressful endeavors, but are usually works in fields that the student is very interested. A friend of mine is an econ major and is performing regression analysis on baseball trends of the past few decades. Theses are a lot of work (a paper based on original research of 60-100 pages), but they do count as 2 full courses during your senior year and they really do give you a chance to apply yourself. </p>

<p>There are reasons why Princeton is not for everyone, but I do not believe that independent work can be considered one of these reasons.</p>